Clare Reynders
November 12, 2019

Media that Spreads the Shine on Girls!

This winter, we’re all about #SpreadtheShine, a hashtag we started to bring some light and love into these long, cold months! Here’s the deal: we’ve noticed that whenever we watch our favorite shows and movies, read or favorite books, or scroll through social media, a common theme tends to come up. Women are often pitted against each other or shown in competition in order to create drama. For example, think about all the tabloids that try to convince us that Kate Middleton and Megan Markle are bitter enemies. When we see shady stuff like that in the media, we say it’s time to #SpreadtheShine instead! Below, we’ve compiled our favorite pieces of current media that spread a message that women should uplift and support each other instead of tearing each other down.

TV Shows:

The Bold Type

(ages 15+)

Often, in workplace-set shows, women are pit against each other in career competition (think Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada). On the contrary, The Bold Type does a great job shedding that stereotype. The three main characters work at the same magazine, but they form strong, supportive friendships. Each of them deals with their own workplace hardships, but they’re always there to support and listen to each other. They also have an inspiring female boss who believes in them. It makes you wish you had best friends like Sutton, Jane, and Kat!

Derry Girls

(ages 15+)

This popular Netflix show follows a group of teen girls growing up in Northern Ireland in the nineties. It’s a little raunchy (think the UK’s Inbetweeners), but has a big heart. The central group of friends is inseparable, and vocally support each others choices and everything they do; even when they make comically big mistakes, they’re in it together.


Movies:

Booksmart

(ages 16+)

Teen comedies can be full of harmful stereotypes and played-out tropes, but this year’s raunchy Booksmart (definitely for older girls) was refreshingly original. Two best friends at the top of their class attempt to have a wild night, for once, before they graduate and move away to college. The hilarious script highlights their ridiculously supportive friendship and is chock-full of unique female characters. Even through the ups and downs of a tumultuous night, their friendship only becomes more and more inspiring.

Late Night

(ages 14+)

Mindy Kailing’s newest film, Late Night, at first seems to play directly into sexist stereotypes- Emma Thompson plays the only female host in late-night TV, who depends on her all-male writing staff to deliver jokes for her. However, when she is forced by her network to hire a woman, Mindy’s character shows her exactly what she was missing. Through their friendship, the late-night host learns the value of supporting women. Not gonna lie, this one brought a tear to my eye!

Frozen

(all ages)

We know you’ve probably heard of this one. But with Frozen II coming out so soon, we wanted to point out how feminist this modern Disney classic really is! Elsa and Anna support each other, and it’s their love for each other that saves the day in the end. Anna stops at nothing to reach Elsa and help her through a difficult time. Nothing like watching this movie to make you really appreciate your sisters! We can only imagine how fun Frozen II will be!


Songs:

“Most Girls” by Hailee Steinfeld

(all ages)

This radio-friendly hit packs a punch with its empowering lyrics- no matter what kind of girl you are, you should be celebrated! Hailee fights back against the common “compliment” that men often try to give women: “you’re not like other girls.” Why should that be a good thing? By singing that she wants to be like most girls, Hailee is encouraging us to support each other even through our differences.

“That’s My Girl” by Fifth Harmony

(all ages)

Ever wish you were best friends with an entire girl band? In this song, Fifth Harmony reminds you how great you are, normalizing the practice of complimenting our friends! Women are so strong, so why not remind each other of it once in a while? This jam supports you, gets your confidence up, and inspires you to do the same for your girls.

So, what are you waiting for? This winter, #SpreadtheShine by supporting the girls and women in your life!

Clare Reynders is a recent graduate of Vassar College who majored in Media Studies with a focus in Women’s studies. She grew up on the North Shore of Boston but now resides in NYC, where she’s pursuing a career in television. She loves going to the movies, climbing high ropes courses, and singing karaoke!